Appendices to the Record of Proceedings of the Public Hearings on the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Proposed Construction of an Oil Pipeline from Angarsk (Russia) to Dacin (China)
Held in the Republic of Buryatia (29 July 2002, town of Kyren)

Biltagurov Vasilii Aramchinovich, representing the village of Zun-Murino: 100% of the residents who were present at the meeting of the villages of Zun-Murino and Shanay, supported the zero variant because the construction would be against the law. The influx of workers would disturb the ecological balance. The newcomers would not protect nature. When the BAM was constructed, Evenks left. Let the deputies raise their voices. Is it really necessary to sacrifice five districts in order to feed the rest of Buryatia?!

Sybdenova Olga Radnayevna, teacher at the Dalakhay high school:
We, the residents of the village of Dalahai, are protesting against the pipeline because the pipeline will go exactly through our village, through the gorge of Huheyn Aman. If this gorge is blasted, our village will be literally flooded by water because the water table level is close to the surface here, and all of the Torskaya valley will literally turn into a swamp.

And it was exactly through this valley that the Tea Road from China to Russia, and a branch of the Silk Road from Mongolia to Russia went once upon a time. In the Torskaya valley there are many endemic plants that do not grow anywhere else, such as Baikal skull-cap, maral root or Russian arctic root.

On this map here I have not even found the name of my village Hongodori. The name of this village is that of a large ancestral tribe of Hongodor-Hugylrat.

... In addition to that, there is a large pantheon of gods here: Bukha-Noyon, Shargai-Noyon, Ulaa-Burgaa-Noyon, who are important not only in Buryatia but also in many Asiatic countries. The violation of our religious ethical norms would lead to our being punished for allowing all these wrongs to happen. This valley had been inhabited for several centuries by our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. This land has been feeding us. That is why we are obliged to our children and grandchildren to preserve this land.

Dear fellow-citizens, support us the residents of the villages of Dalahai and Hongodori, and help us to protect this land that is sacred to us.

Ayusheeva Oktyabrina Gomboevna, vice-president of the Association "Sayany" of the natives of the Tunkinskiy district:
Dear participants of the environmental impact hearings! In the capital of our Republic, the city of Ulan-Ude, the Association "Sayany" of the natives of the Tunkinskiy district has been active for the past 11 years. Tunka valley diaspora is quite large. It includes scientists, physicians, university teachers, and members of various other professions. When the mass media were bringing floods of biased articles, claims that the decision on the pipeline construction had been made, that YUKOS was a serious investor whose arrival would bring enormous prosperity to Buryatia, we started to do some serious thinking. All the representatives of our Association who are not indifferent to the fate of our small homeland have met many times. The experience from other countries shows that the population living along the route of a pipeline construction never got particularly favourable economical conditions improving their standard of living.

Because of the beauty of the Sayan Mountains and special climatic conditions, our Tunka is called The Little Tibet. The contemporary world civilization knows what kind of a country Tibet is. It is admired, people want to visit it, see it with their own eyes.

I have very carefully listened to all the reasons that were given in favour of an oil pipeline. I can only say that Azerbajdzhan, Slovenia, and other countries through which a pipeline was constructed, cannot be compared in any way with Tunka. We have completely different climatic and geographical conditions. A single earthquake can destroy all the effort and enormous financial expenditures spent on the construction. We were told that the local population would get jobs. We have the glaring example of cooperation with the Buryatzoloto Joint-stock Company. Unfortunately, our people do not get many jobs or do not stay in them for very long. Taking into account what kind of technology will be used in pipeline operation, one can immediately draw a conclusion about the ability, or rather inability of local population to work on the new construction project. The BAM railway was built in Buryatia. At present the able-bodied population of the northern districts doesn't know what to do with itself.

Such beauty as Tunka must not be destroyed!

Rynchin Dulmaev Zunduev, chairman of the Buddhist community of the Sanaginsk Datsan (Monastery) of the Zakamenskiy District (his speech was in the Buryat language):

Dear representatives of the Tunkinskiy District, Republic of Buryatia, Irkutsk Region, the YUKOS Company and all present!

The construction of an oil pipeline on the territory of the Zakamenskii District causes great uneasiness among the residents. From the information we have obtained, it is clear only that our virgin taiga forests will be disturbed, the pipeline will pass through our forests, Siberian pine groves, berry fields, and agricultural lands. The traditional life style of the native people, the Buryats, will be disturbed, because the pipeline route passes mainly close to the Buryat communities.

How can the traditional life style of our villagers be described? It's based on traditional animal husbandry, hunting and the gathering of pine nuts, berries and other wild fruits. The construction of a pipeline will be accompanied by cutting down parts of the forest, by considerably increased risk of forest fires, by departure of wildlife, by poaching and barbaric destruction of nature by motorized strangers who do not value anything. And do not forget that more than half of the present income of the village families comes from the forest products. If you leave them without this source of income, how will they feed their families?

During pipeline construction our sacred places will be disturbed. Places, where it is forbidden not only to touch or move the stones, but also to break the smallest branch. Such sacred places can be found on the top of each mountain, and spirits - the masters of such places - will be angry with people disturbing their peace.

The pipeline will go through the catchment basin of the Lake Baikal. There is no experience in building a pipeline in such complicated conditions characterized by the simultaneous presence of high seismicity, permafrost, and high mountains. This will multiply many times the risk of accidents, and sooner or later the spilled oil will get into the Lake Baikal that contains the world's reserves of fresh water. And it is not known what will be considered more valuable in the future - oil, or clean water and the preservation of nature?

The pipeline construction infringes on the human right to an healthy environment, as guaranteed in 3 of the federal law of the Russian Federation "On the Protection of the Environment" of 10 January 2002. According to 4 of this law, the natural formations of our district are to be protected from human impact. The federal law "On Specially protected Territories" would be violated in relation to the Snezhinsk State Game Preserve. Decree No. 643 of the government of the Russian Federation of 30 August 2001 "On Confirmation of the List of Activities Forbidden in the Central Ecological Zone of the Lake Baikal Natural Territory" would be violated. This decree forbids the construction of mainline pipelines. The borders of the Central Ecological Zone of Lake Baikal were confirmed by UNESCO as an Area of World Heritage.

The residents of our district collected about 5000 signatures against the construction of the pipeline on the territory of the Zakamenskii District. Meetings were held in the villages of Dalakhai, Utata, Sanata, and Tsagan-Morin, in which a decision against the construction of the pipeline was made. The signatures collected were mailed to the address of the President of the Russian Federation (RF), V.V. Putin, and the RF prime-minister M.M. Kasyanov. On the basis of the law of the Republic of Buryatia "On local referenda in the Republic of Buryatia," we have founded an initiative group on holding a referendum in the Zakamenskiy District on the apportionment of land for the construction of the oil pipeline "Russia-China" by the YUKOS Company.

We, the residents of Zakamenskii District are categorically against the construction of the oil pipeline "Russia-China" on the territory of the Zakamenskiy District.

(The Buddhist community of the Sanaginsk Datsan consists of the villages of Dalakhai, Sanata, Utata, Tsagan-Morin, Myla, Bayangol, Bortoi, Dutulutr, Khuzhir, Engorboy, Shara-Azarga, and the town of Zakamensk.)

From the Proceedings of the Meeting of the Residents of the Village of Tory.
The meeting was organized by the Baikal Centre for Citizens' Ecological Expertise (BCPEE) of the "Buryat Regional Organisation for Baikal" (BRO).

Present were: Representatives of BCPEE: BRO director S.G. Shapkhaev, S.D., Shirapova, O.A. Shirapova; representatives of the Pacific Environment and Resources Center (PERC): Martin Dave, Michael Jones, Prof. N.L. Zhukovskaya; representatives of the "Tunkinskiy" National Park; and the local residents; altogether 25 people.

S.G. Shapkhaev: We are still under the protection of the federal laws from unlawful acts. There is a difficult economic situation not only in the Tunka District. That is why some people from the Administration speak about the Park being an obstacle to development, and about the necessity of taking some territory out of the Park. The law is on our side right now, and as long as the boundaries of the Park are not changed, the construction of the pipeline is impossible. That is why its proponents write that it would become possible if the boundaries of the Park are changed.

V.G. Khramtsova: How much of the forest will be cut down? Why is this not stated in the preliminary report? Is there any experience with the construction of a pipeline in such complicated mountainous geological conditions?

S.G. Shapkhaev: It's an experimental project. There have been no such projects in Russian conditions where the intensity of earthquakes can reach 12 degrees.

E.A. Gudueva: Will this experiment not become a tragedy for all the population of the Tunka Valley?

Sh. Kholkhoev: The nature of Tunka is sacred. If one touches a sacred place, then, for example, Bukha-Noyen will not forgive that. I think that there will be natural catastrophes: mud flows, floods, landslides, etc. The mountains will punish us, as in Oka, where floods do occur since they started gold-mining there. It's a temporary project, not well thought out. Nature would not forgive us such an intrusion.

N.L Zhukovskaya: As a representative of the historical-cultural field, a non-economist, I urge you to conserve the natural resources, to lobby against the construction of the oil pipeline. Isn't this project planned for 40 years only? When the transport of oil is terminated, we will be left with industrial landscapes. I believe that our district can develop by expanding the spheres of tourism and recreation.

V.T. Khamtsova: ... Perhaps the "Northern variant" can be a suitable alternative. Although all options are "zero" options. We do not need any oil pipelines!

From the Proceedings of the Meeting of the Residents of the Villages of Ahalik and Yelovka of the Tunkinskii District, Republic of Buryatia, 20 July 2002.
The meeting was organized by the Baikal Centre for Citizens' Environmental Impact Assessment (BCCEIA) of the "Buryat Regional Organisation for Baikal" (BRO), and supported by the NGO organisation "Zov Arshana."

Present were: Representatives of BCCEIA affiliated to BRO, representatives of the NGO "Zov Arshana"; residents of the villages of Akhalik and Yelovka; altogether 100 persons.
Program of the meeting: Information on, and discussion of the preliminary report of the Environment Impact Assessment of the construction of the oil pipeline "Russia-China."

Vecher N.N.: As chair of the local NGO "Zov Arshana," the purpose of which is social and ecological education, I am addressing all the residents of the Tunkinskiy District, all persons born in Tunka, and all those who are not indifferent to the fate of our beautiful Valley of Beauty.

... The planners envisage the passage of an oil pipeline through Tunka because our district with a large eco-tourism potential is supposedly situated far from Lake Baikal (its southern shore being just a little bit over 40 km away). It's a depressed district, poor, although not a single resident of Tunka is happy with the label "poor," moreover, for us it is insulting (cf. the article "Globalization and Terror" - editor's note). We are rich if simply by the fact that the lands of Tunka are the healing grounds for the Irkutsk Region, Buryatia, and other regions, by that the coniferous forests of our small homeland are the lungs of Russia. Among the multitude of our healing springs, many are truly unique. All this is threatened if not by complete, certainly by partial destruction.

Naturally, the pipeline would play the role of a forest divider. At the same time, a sizeable width of forest will be clear-cut for the pipe, for its protective zone, and for the road infrastructure, etc. The economics of the Tunkinskiy district could be stimulated by a highway, but this one would be a service road, which would have to be protected, and the influence of which on the environment and the population would be unpredictable. One does not have to go far for an example. When a road was built in the Okinsk District, musk-deer was slaughtered within the radius of 60 km. What is especially disturbing, is that neither the Administration, nor the National Park are informing the population. And now the media of Buryatia and of Irkutsk Region have announced that at the stage Grounds for Investment in the "Russia-China" pipeline, a preliminary report on the construction, the environmental impact assessment (i.e., impact on us, the residents) has been completed and has been displayed in the district library since July 3, 2002. However, on July 19, there was still no report in the library.

Unfortunately, the companies often use the fact that the people do not know the laws that could be used for the protection of their rights to a healthy environment. There are normative-legislative acts that deal with national parks, such as the federal act On Specially Protected Territories, which forbids the construction of mainline pipelines. That is why it is illegal to even discuss the documents presented by YUKOS and Transneft. These companies should first solve the problem of the transfer of the lands in question out of the Tunkinskiy National Park (TNP) into the jurisdiction of the Republic and the Region with the RF government, to obtain the corresponding documents, and only after that, ecological and other problems pertaining to the pipeline construction can be discussed.

A statement by Mikhail Baranov, the official of the Transneft Company and the chief engineer of the project is a cause for concern. To the question "What impact will the oil pipeline have on the ecology of natural monuments?" asked by the Angarsk resident Ms. O. Stepanchuk, he answered: "There would be no threat to the lake Baikal if the pipeline goes through the Tunka Valley!" (Arguments and Facts in the Eastern Siberia, 2002, No. 28.)

The main value of the TNP is its undisturbed natural areas that would be subjected to irreversible changes if the eastern variant is implemented. This would be a grave violation of one of the principles of Russia's National Strategy for the protection of bio-diversity.

We have to decide the fate of the District together. Would we not lose more than we gain? It would be much more correct to hold a referendum among all the residents. Who is able to calculate the cost of clean water or the clean air, to assess in roubles or dollars the value of bio-diversity and its importance for the biosphere? Isn't that all a guarantee of the very sustainability thanks to which we have a chance to survive?

Bobkov A.K., the deputy director of the district newspaper "Sayany": I have been interested in the questions of ecology for more than 30 years. My position with respect to the proposed construction of an oil pipeline is strongly negative. I am not familiar with the preliminary environmental impact report as it was not available in the library. I know about three options (central, western and eastern) that all pass through the federal TNP, and the so-called northern option. My opinion is that all of them are unsuitable, the northern option being destructive to the vulnerable nature of the North.

The nature of our area in the vicinity of the Sayan Mountains and the Khamar-Daban ridge is unique. Its microclimate was formed millions of years ago. Naturally, if one starts to construct a pipeline through the Sayan foothills, one cannot forget that this region lies in an earthquake zone (up to the intensity rating of 10). In addition to that, there is the danger of mud slides. One also has to take into account a number of other factors: permafrost swelling, water accumulation on ice, solifluction (downward flow of soil during thawing). I think that basing the construction of oil pipelines solely on technological grounds is not possible. I see the economical future of the region in the development of agro-tourism. From such activities we can get much larger dividends than from pipeline construction.

Appendix to the Record of Proceedings of the Public Hearings on the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Proposed Construction of an Oil Pipeline from Angarsk (Russia) to Dacin (China)

Held in the Republic of Buryatia (29 July 2002, town of Kyren)

A sociological study was conducted along the route of the oil pipeline in five districts: Tunkinskii, Zakamenskii, Selenginskii, Dzhidinskii, and Mukhorshibirskii. ... Dzhidinskii District is the most densely populated one of those crossed by the proposed pipeline route. The results of the sociological inquiry have shown a positive attitude.

101 questionnaires were processed in the Dzhidinskii District. Typical responses of the residents of the Dzhidinskii District were: "the pipeline has to be built, it will give jobs to young people," "no jobs are available to the residents."

In the Tunkinskii District the level of economical development is low. Basically, people rely on subsidiary economy, except for those who work in the state-financed organizations (schools, kindergartens, local councils, etc).

In the village of Shuluty, people are working. Their income comes from logging. There are small sawmills. People drink here only on holidays. In the course of questioning, we did not meet any intoxicated persons; everybody was busy at work. Basically, they all are against the pipeline. The residents of Zun-Murino wrote a letter to Putin about the route going through the sacred place of Burkhan Noyen; many are afraid of this. Putin sent back a confirmation that he had received the letter.

Local ecologists are active in Zun-Murino through the school "Blue patrol." This organization promotes the preservation of the environment, and at present also a stands against the pipeline. Teachers help them in their work. There is an activist-ecologist, Ms. Shvedova. There are fears about leading the pipeline through the sacred places. Many residents of the villages of Zun-Murino and Tory are enrolled in a course on construction. The main sources of information are the local population, local newspaper, local TV, and the school.

Zakamenskiy District.
The town of Bayangol.
The interviews were conducted in the Naberezhnaya Street, house Nos. 7 to 131. 90% of those questioned live in the town permanently, of these there are 25 Buryat families. Since the closure of an open-pit coal mine, the majority of the male population has been unemployed, some work in housing and communal services, and in the Bayangol home for mentally handicapped children. The remaining 30% are pensioners. As for the level of income, 80% of them consider themselves poor. There are many single pensioners. The people are concerned about alcoholism and drug addiction. The majority (60%) of the town population are Russians, the rest are Buryats and Germans. Because there is a high level of hidden unemployment in this town, the attitude toward the pipeline is positive. However, there are concerns about the possibility of the contamination of the environment. The residents learned about the proposed construction of the pipeline from the local and republic-wide newspapers, and also from conversations with neighbours.

Khurtuga. The residents of the Molodezhnaya Street, house Nos. 1 to 89, were interviewed. The residents of this street were born mainly between the years 1958 and 1970. They are Buryats. The males work in an agricultural cooperative, and the females in services and education. Practically everybody knows about the proposed pipeline, and all have a negative attitude toward its construction. The people are concerned about the damage to the ecosystem, and to the agricultural and hunting resources.

Burguy. The residents of the Parinskaya Street, houses No. 7 to 33, Shubertuysjaya Street No. 1, and the Centralnaya Street Nos. 1 to 25. Altogether 10 families were interviewed. They not even wanted to hear about the pipeline, 100% of the residents were convinced that it would lead to an ecological catastrophe.

Myla. The residents of the Sovetskaya Street, houses No. 7 to 21, Rabochaya Street Nos. 21 to 31, Komsomolskaya Street Nos. 7 to 13, and the Molodezhnaya Street No. 3 were interviewed. Their attitude toward the construction of the pipeline is highly negative, they are concerned about the reduction of hunting resources, and about an ecological catastrophe.

Mikhailovka. The residents of the Klubgaya Street, houses No. 1 to 83, Lugovaya Street Nos. 1 to 27, and the Burgultayskaya Street Nos. 1 to 7 were interviewed. Attitude toward the pipeline is highly negative. The people are telling each other that the pipeline will go through the agricultural land and the local cemetery. Therefore, they are convinced that the construction of the pipeline will bring more harm than benefits.